2 being hunted in store executive's killing


Teams of city homicide detectives today continued an around-the-clock investigation of the shooting death yesterday of the 30-year-old vice president of a southwest Baltimore furniture business.

"We're looking at all possibilities," said Detective Richard Garvey, one of the investigators probing the slaying of Aaron S. Levenson, whose body was found about 8:30 a.m. on the sidewalk across from the furniture store that has been in his family for three generations.

Garvey would not comment on whether a security camera outside the Royal Furniture Co. Inc. in the 500 block of S. Monroe St. captured on tape the two assailants as one of them shot Levenson three times, twice in the back. Nor would Garvey comment on whether robbery was the motive in the killing.

"Our people have been working through the night on this case," Garvey said. "We have interviewed dozens of witnesses and employees of the firm. And the evidence we recovered is being analyzed in the lab."

He said police have no suspects.

Today, police aided by dogs were searching a dump in the 600 block of W. Patapsco Ave. for a weapon that could have been used in the killing. Detectives had ordered two small cranes to lift two trailers where a man was found hiding last night after running from police.

Police said that a man, carrying what was believed to be a 9mm handgun, bailed out of a stolen car in Cherry Hill about 11 p.m. and ran from pursuing officers. He was not armed when he was found under one of the trailers on the Patapsco Excavating Inc. dump.

Police were detaining him at headquarters.

Sgt. Roger Nolan of the homicide unit said, "We're trying to run down a lead on a possible getaway vehicle." Police have not released details on that possibility.

Levenson was slain near a parking lot across the street from his family's furniture store.

He had just parked his car on the private parking lot, police said.

After the shooting, the assailants escaped on foot.

Levenson had just returned to the main office of the Royal Furniture Co. from the firm's warehouse in the 600 block of S. Fulton Ave., where he had picked up Wednesday's receipts.

Nolan said police aren't sure whether anything was taken from Levenson. His assailants left behind two zippered vinyl bags of company receipts. They also apparently took nothing from the victim's body or from a satchel he carried.

Nolan said it was uncertain whether the assailants knew Levenson's routine and were lying in wait for him. Company employees said he made such pickups almost daily.

The furniture store, started by Levenson's grandfather nearly 100 years ago, closed after the shooting and employees were sent home.

Minutes after the shooting, Levenson's father, Joseph Levenson, ran from the furniture store building and saw his son lying face down on the sidewalk.

"His father was really upset," said Bonnie Fellers, an area resident. "He was running and one guy tried to stop him. He got really weak and collapsed."

Joseph Levenson was treated at University of Maryland Medical Center and released.

Fellers, 21, said she saw three spent bullet casings on the ground near Levenson.

Sources said the bullets that killed Levenson were 9mm, fired from a semiautomatic weapon.

"He was lying on his belly with his head on the ground and his arms at his side," she said.

One merchant in the area, who asked not to be identified, said the shooting "sounded like a pop, pop."

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